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Tourism

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It was not Spain, France, Kenya, or Tanzania nor Zimbabwe last year winner, recognized as the best tourist destination. According to Mail On Line and Ethiopian News Agency, Ethiopia recognized by the General Assembly of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT). Ethiopia was selected as the winner for world Best Tourist Destination and receiver of favorite Cultural Destination Distinction for the year of 2015. Last year the country earned 2 billion dollars and also targeting $3 billion to earn for the year 2014.

Ethiopia, an old country beyond all imaginations, is one of the top tourist destinations in Africa. It is a multicultural nation with more than 80 different ethnic groups each with its own distinct language, culture and tradition, dating back over 3,000 years.

Eight of Ethiopia's cultural and natural heritage sites (as many as in Egypt) are listed on UNESCO'S World Heritage Site attesting to the outstanding universal value of Ethiopia's heritage. The cultural landscape composed of rich and varied tangible and intangible cultural heritage is further enriched by the diverse religions practiced in Ethiopia including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and numerous traditional religions.

Ethiopia stands at a great advantage, being the best tourism destination in Africa because of its unique cultural diversity, historical heritage, natural environment, a surprisingly cool climate, rich flora and fauna, significant archeological sites, hospitable people and political stability, among other things. According to the World Bank, Ethiopia, with a total of 523,000 arrivals and earnings of almost USD 1.4bn in 2011, achieved 20% growth.

The current Ethiopian constitution recognizes the right of all ethno-linguistic communities to protect and promote their culture, language, and cultural heritage. Its political commitment is articulated in the preamble to the constitution (The Constitution of FDRE-1995) as follows:

“…Firmly convinced that the fulfillment of this objective requires full respect of individual and people's fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the basis of equality and without any sexual, religious, or cultural discrimination. Further convinced that by continuing to live with our rich and proud cultural legacies in territories we have long inhabited, through continuous interaction on various levels and forms of life, built-up common interests and have also contributed to the emergence of a common outlook. Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests……"

Furthermore, the rights of peoples have clearly been endorsed in article 39 (2) of constitution. The Constitution states "…..Every Nation, Nationality and people in Ethiopia has the right to speak, to write and to develop its own language; to express, to develop and to promote its culture; and to preserve its history."

The increasing number of tourists and the evolving profile of today’s traveler demand a host of new tourism offerings and infrastructure projects. A wide spectrum of investment opportunities arise out of Ethiopia’s long-term tourism plans. Indeed Ethiopia has made significant strides which should be applauded, as far as the tourism sector is concerned. However, there still remains a lot to do in the future.  Opportunities to invest in tourism exist in   a myriad of segments:

  •  Tourist accommodation: the construction of star-designated hotels, lodges and resorts, international and specialized restaurants, and international standard tour operators;
  • Tourist transport services: tourist taxis, car hire services, cruise boats, tour guide services, travel agencies, etc;
  • Shopping avenues: souvenir shops, supermarkets, shopping arcades, shopping malls and duty free shops;
  • Tourism financial services: rental services for tourists who need catering, camping and picnic accessories, cell phones, toilets;  
  • Tourism medical services: health services including tourism health insurance companies, ambulance services for tourists, and flying doctors to service remote tourist sites;
  • Entertainment, food and beverage services: cafes, food corners, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, amusement parks, casinos, etc;
  • Leisure & sports: sporting activities including golf courses, yachting, sailing, surfing, fishing, etc; and
  • Tourist information and education:  independent shops to provide general and location specific information.

Ethiopia is currently serviced by most major airlines, including, Ethiopian, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, Turkish, Kenyan and others.

 

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